David McGoldrick’s 16 shots on target in xG and xG2 (Post shot xG)data — bad shooter or just unlucky ??

Sutirtha Mukhopadhyay
May 5 · 5 min read

David McGoldrick of Sheffield United. An enigma!

A lot of stuff has been written on him and his lack of scoring goals!

And a lot of stuff has been written about how he is absolutely crucial for this Sheffield United team to function properly.

My outlook was different here. I wanted to look only at the on target shots.

At least to understand what happened to those he managed to keep inside the goalmouth.

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Yes, he’s scored a grand total of zero goals from chances worth 5.6 xG or 4.55 PSxG. (per @fbref data)

Here I wanted to look at details of his 16 on target shots.

With fbref.com providing xG and Post Shot xG data per match — there was lot of data to look at!

First an overview via Understat.com

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Here is a match by match look at those 16 shots using Statszone app and fbref.

I have added some GIFs to show the misses.

Bournemouth vs. Sheffield United — Saturday August 10, 2019

Almost 1 vs 1 to keeper. Could have hit it better or tried to chip the keeper. Was too stretched while taking the shot. Also it was hit towards central part of goal, near keeper.

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Sheffield United vs. Crystal Palace — Sunday August 18, 2019

This is the one which he should have scored, you can see from video that he unfortunately hits towards the center of the goal. If he hits in the 1st post corner, almost certainly a goal.

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Sheffield United vs. Southampton — Saturday September 14, 2019

2 big chances!

12th minute: 1 vs 1 with GK, couldn’t open up his body enough to fool the keeper. Again the shot is too central. Should have done better.

80th minute: Tries to sidefoot it in. Not much power behind. Again too central.

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West Ham United vs. Sheffield United — Saturday October 26, 2019

28th minute: Difficult chance! Too little reaction time. Only time his PSxG was lower than xG for on target shots.

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Tottenham Hotspur vs. Sheffield United — Saturday November 9, 2019

Not really a big chance. Again very central.

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Sheffield United vs. Manchester United — Sunday November 24, 2019

11th minute: free header. Again central and towards keeper. Should have done better.

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Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Sheffield United — Sunday December 1, 2019

52nd minute: Difficult angle from left edge of box.

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Norwich City vs. Sheffield United — Sunday December 8, 2019

Difficult chance — shot hit on the bounce with defender pressuring .

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Sheffield United vs. Aston Villa — Saturday December 14, 2019

Difficult angle. Could have done a little better though.

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Liverpool vs. Sheffield United — Thursday January 2, 2020

Not a big chance. .

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Analysis:

From the shots we see,

One important point for me:

One recurring theme I saw was he has been shooting/heading centrally, closer to keeper in most cases rather than trying to hit corners.

As per statistics, 67 percent of goals are scored in the corners versus 33 percent down the middle.

Conclusion:

McGoldrick has been either the worst - or the unluckiest - player in front of goal in the whole Premier League this season.

His xG & Post shot xG shows he is doing most things right. He is making the correct runs and reaching the right places to take the shot.

Usually a striker who is underperforming xG can realistically expect things to get better. In the long run, we expect players to eventually perform close to their xG.

We have also seen that he shooting technique is not faulty (PSxG >xG) for the shots on target.

He is no stranger to scoring — he scored 15 times helping the club to gain promotion from the Championship.

He has also scored in FA cup this season.

Maybe he needs to try to hit the corner of goal. A lot of his efforts could have been better if he placed them towards corner of the goal rather than centrally!

Maybe he just needs that 1st goal in Premier League — goals would flow after that.

For me, he has been mostly unlucky. Massively unlucky.

Data source: fbref, stats zone, video clips from youtube

Sutirtha Mukhopadhyay

Written by

Doctor in Pharmaceutical industry in Belgium. Always been Football Crazy. Trying to write about Belgium league, football tactics and analytics! Loves Arsenal!

Sutirtha Mukhopadhyay

Written by

Doctor in Pharmaceutical industry in Belgium. Always been Football Crazy. Trying to write about Belgium league, football tactics and analytics! Loves Arsenal!

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